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England Over-50s international Sean Cooper joins East Anglian Premier League title hopefuls Sudbury from Bury St Edmunds




Sudbury have stepped up their preparations for the 2021 East Anglian Premier League season by snapping up an England age group international bowling specialist.

Sean Cooper, who had been taking wickets for England at the Over-50s World Cup in South Africa when the global coronavirus crisis broke out last March, has transferred from divisional rivals Bury St Edmunds.

The right-arm medium pace bowler, who has played all over the world with the combined services side from his time in the Army, is the most capped player currently playing for England O50s.

Sean Cooper appeals for a wicket during a game for Bury St Edmunds against MildenhallPicture: Mark Westley
Sean Cooper appeals for a wicket during a game for Bury St Edmunds against MildenhallPicture: Mark Westley

The personal fitness instructor will turn 54 next month, but believes he still has plenty to offer The Talbots as they look to regain their title of 2017 and 2018.

“Bury have been very good to me but they say a change is as good as a rest,” he said.

“I went to Bury six years ago when the legend that was Justin Bishop asked me to go there to give Sean Park (then captain) a hand to help with a very, very young side.

Sean Cooper has been in two England Over-50s World Cup squads and has made more than 25 appearances in internationally recognised matchesPicture: Mecha Morton
Sean Cooper has been in two England Over-50s World Cup squads and has made more than 25 appearances in internationally recognised matchesPicture: Mecha Morton

“I went there to help to develop their cricket and keep the club in the highest non-professional level of cricket around, which I managed to do.

“It was a case of me now trying to achieve some other things with my cricket and try something different.

“I had a chat with Adam (Mansfield, captain) and hopefully I will have the opportunity with Sudbury to achieve what I want to achieve personally as a cricketer, even at the age of 54.”

Having joined fellow EAPL side Fakenham after leaving RAF Honington and then following a similar vein of battling to avoid relegation with Bury, challenging for the top honours was undoubtedly a key part in making the move.

“They have done that,” he said of Sudbury’s recent title triumphs, “and they’re looking to do that again which is great and personally, yes, it would be great. I have been in this league since 2002 dating back with Fakenham and I was always in a side which was realistic in that we were just about survival and staying in the highest level.

“Bury has sort of been that for the last four or five years and it is a case now of joining a side which is well equipped, with the new additions, to push for the title again.”

He said he is also aiming to complete unfinished business with England at the Over-50s World Cup, which has been re-scheduled for March 2022.

"We were half-way through the third game," he said, "We had beaten India and then lost in the last over to South Africa who were the ex Test and one day match players they had put into their side and were joint favourites with Australia.

"Then we were half-way through the game with Namibia when it all got called off, unfortunately."

Despite Covid-19 not allowing them to get back to winter indoor net training, Cooper's new club Sudbury have been busy off the field with their recruitment.

Their former title-winning pace bowler Billy Moulton-Day is set to return from his spells with Witham while all-rounders Adam Dellar and Joey Kettle are stepping up from Haverhill. Record-breaking South African batsman Shane Dadswell – who hit 490 from 151 balls in a 50-over game for NWU Pukke – is also set to make his move to Friars Street a year later than planned.

The EAPL season is due to get under way for The Talbots at home to Cambridge on April 17.

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